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A 50-Story Skyscraper In Cambridge Is Now Possible

Site of MIT's proposed development at Kendall Square in Cambridge

The Cambridge City Council approved a zoning change Monday that could eventually bring a 500-foot tower to Kendall Square.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed the zoning petition to move ahead with its plans to redevelop the 14-acre Volpe Center property it acquired in January for $750M from the General Services Administration, MIT News reports. The university envisions 1,400 housing units and 1.7M SF of commercial development after it constructs a new building for the Department of Transportation, Volpe's current tenant. 

Housing will account for 40% of the development, including what would be Cambridge’s new tallest building. Cambridge was previously known for a 250-foot building height limit, but buildings in the development will range from 140 feet to the 500-foot tower. The current tallest building in the city is MIT’s 295-foot Green Building. 

The project, still years away from delivery, would provide much-needed lab space to the notoriously tight East Cambridge submarket, where direct lab vacancies were less than 1% in the third quarter.